Tag Archives: reading

A Bright Star No Longer Hidden

22 Jun

The annual review, a time for meeting with your child’s teachers and discussing progress, struggles and ideas. A meeting centred around your child’s special educational needs and the statement they hold.

Last week it was that time, the time for the Little man’s second annual review since attending his special independent school specifically for children on the autism spectrum. Lately, Little man’s attendance has been a little off the wall! Despite his love for his new school he continues to struggle to sleep of a night, often getting just a few hours sleep or none whatsoever. As one can imagine, mornings are becoming one huge battle us! For this reason alone I expected to hear how my son was falling dangerously behind that of his peers, what with his last school (mainstream primary school) insisting he had a reading age of 7, reception age writing skills, poor understanding of science and history, plus 2 levels below in maths and more besides. He was 10 at the time and I protested that my son wasn’t this far behind, especially in maths. His bedroom wall looked like some kind of number puzzle where he would cover it in mathematical problem solving and coding to a complex level (one even I struggled to understand)!

You see it was my conclusion that he was much brighter than he let on, but wasn’t showing this due to his unhappiness while attending a school who seriously struggled to meet any of his needs, both educational and developmental. It was during this particular annual review meeting that I realised just how right I was back then.

Here it comes… A seriously proud mummy moment…

Little man is two levels above his expect national curriculum level in maths. He is in year 7 and currently has a level of a child in year 9 on his way to year 10.

His also above in PE, Reading and more besides. He science levels were that of his expected age. English as a whole is also what is expected which just goes to show that my boy and any other child on the spectrum has the ability to shine given they are in the right environment to do so.

He has a great new system in which he can remove himself from the classroom to shake of any problems and excess energy with a run around the playground. He only has the ability to use his “Get Out Of Glass Card” twice for each lesson and teachers have reported that sometimes he finishes class having not used one. This may seem like such a minor thing but to a mum like me its pure music to my ears.

He also has a great reward system and school are working hard to try and discourage his swearing. Despite episodes still happening on a daily basis the improvements are slowly taking place and little man’s learning a little self control.

Proud… Oh yes, seriously proud! When your so used to being told the negative when it comes to your child’s education, you forget what its like to hear anything positive. This was a great example of this, it was the proudest I’d felt for a long time. I just wanted to shout about it from the roof tops.

Was I tempted to take a little walk through them office doors of his once mainstream school, the one in which his younger sister attends? Did I feel to wave his report in the air while shouting “Yer… Get a load of that! Thats my boy they are writing about!” Um maybe I did, just a little…I can’t lie. However, I don’t care what was once said! All that matters is that I have always believed in him even if those others who should have, instead made it their mission to write him off as a lost cause!

Well… Eat My Shorts!

My boys a star, a star that shines bright because his no longer hidden.

So, if you have a bright star that is currently struggling to be seen through the clouds then don’t give up on them! Believing is the key to your child’s educational success and as long as you believe others will follow. Never give up, fight for them to be seen as the star you know them to be.

#Win 1 Of 4 Copies Of Alphablocks Phonics First Steps on DVD

16 Feb

Here on ‘A boy with Aspergers’ we are firm believers in education from an early age. That’s why we love the Alphablocks.

Gone are the days when children’s programmes lacked in educational value! Now children’s TV is full of exciting yet educational programmes allowing your pre-schoolers a good head start ahead of school.

One of those shows is that of Alphablocks, the successful show first brought to our screens by CBeebies.

But wait! As of the 25th February 2013 Volume 1 – Alphablocks Phonics First Steps will be available to purchase on DVD.

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Has you’re little one(s) not yet had the opportunity to see the Alphablocks? Well, here’s a little more about them…

Alphablocks open the door to a magical world of reading. How? Well
These 26 living letters who fall out of the sky discover that if they hold hands together they can make a word, which then magically comes to life!

The Alphablocks are Based on best-practice phonics, your child will laugh and learn with the little letter people and their adventures, songs and all
kinds of fun and games.

Volume 1: Phonics First Steps, also comes with a FREE Alphablocks, Alphabet poster for your little one to enjoy. The DVD introduces the first letters and sounds that children are taught at school and starts them off making simple words. With repeat viewing, children can build key phonics skills and boost their reading confidence – while having lots and lots of fun.

Features 18 episodes, to find out more visit http://www.alphablocks.tv

I’ve kindly been offered 4 copies to give away to our lovely readers. So… Who wants to win one?

Compulsory Action
Simply tell me in a comment the fun ways in which you make reading fun!

You can also gain additional entries by doing any of the below. Enter as many as you like but do leave an additional comment for each action you take. Note you can only gain additional entries once you have completed the compulsory entry above.

Tweet: “I want to win the Alphablocks Phonics First Steps volume 1 DVD with @Clairelouise82 & @AbbeyKids”

Pin the competition on Pinterest (leave the link to the pin in your comment)

Follow @AbbeyKids on twitter (comment with your twitter handle)

Follow @Clairelouise82 on twitter (comment with your twitter handle)

Subscribe to the blog via feed burner (comment with the email you subscribe with)

Subscribe to the A boy with aspergers (ABWAblog) on youtube

Competition will close at 11:59 on the 10th March 2013.

Also keep an eye out for our review of the DVD coming after the release date of the 25th.

Winners will be drawn at random from all valid entries submitted. Competition open to all those in the UK only. Winners must leave either an email address or twitter handle with their comments so that I can easily contact them in the event that they win. Winners have 72 hours to respond to the winning notification or another winner will be drawn in their place.

ThePrizeFinder – UK Competitions

My daughter will be assessed for Dyslexia

5 Jul

Today I had a meeting at my daughters school, I went in thinking I was going to be thrown a load of excuses as to why I wasn’t informed my daughter was on the special educational needs register, but actually things went a little more differently.

You see, all those who have lied to me are no longer employed at the school. The head master whom I had a terrible relationship with due to the discrimination my son received and the SENCO who has lied about both my children’s needs, have left. The new head teacher has been brought in to repair all the damage that has been done and therefore get the school back on track.

I was almost left open mouthed when I realised I wasn’t being feed anymore bull shit. This new head teacher apologised for the fact I wasn’t told stating it was unacceptable. She has looked through my daughters sen file and through some of her work and feels that she should have been assessed for dyslexia!

She has told me she wants to sort this ASAP as to give my daughter the best chance in year 5. Extra help will be provided to enable her to catch up with her reading and writing. We also discussed the possibility of maybe booking her in with an optician to see If coloured lenses could help her read better (it currently takes her a long time to read a book).

I have appointments booked with her class teacher on Monday and the head teacher is writing a letter explaining my daughters SEN, the reasons she is on the register and the help they have been providing her with.

I have put a lot of trust in this school before and been let down badly. However with the new senior staff in place, a temporary SENCO and no sign of anyone who damaged us in the past, I feel that just maybe communication will be better.

I won’t let my guard down, I can’t afford to. I will continue to over document everything, monitor attendance (maybe asking for a weekly breakdown of her attendance for my records) as well as making sure the AWO stays on top of things.

I really want to believe the new head teacher is one that I can fully trust. I have got to a stage where I feel I can not trust anyone and hope that my confidence in the system can slowly be repaired. Surly not all head teachers are bad… Right?

To have someone agree with me that records have not been kept as they should have and as a result I could have actually gone to prison, is a start!

To have an apology is also a step forward.

I don’t know why both the SENCO and Head teacher left suddenly but I am pleased to see the back of them!

I just want my children to go off to school in the mornings and come home smiling. I want a good healthy school home relationship… Just like the one I have with my sons independent special school… Surly it’s not to much to ask, is it?

Story Telling With The Easter Bunny

5 Apr

If you’re looking for one great alternative to the “Typical” Chocolate Easter Egg, then I have it right here !

Abigail the adorable floppy eared bunny is the latest addition to the Hallmark ‘Story Buddy’ range.

The super soft, super cute Abigail joins her friends ‘Watson’ the Racoon, ‘Cooper’ the Bear and ‘Jingle’ the Husky as the fourth addition to an already fabulous range of Story Buddy’s and what’s more Abigail isn’t just an adorable bunny but she’s also a female one, making her the first girlie buddy of the range.

Story Buddy’s are more than just your “Typical” cuddly toy, but an interactive, innovative friend, designed to bring the magic to your child’s story time.

Like all buddies, Abigail comes complete with her own beautifully illustrated book “Abigail and the balance beam’s” that tells the story of how Abigail tries to make her mother extra proud of her by performing gymnastics.

As yourself or child read aloud specific passages from the book, Abigail will suddenly start to interact, creating a totally magical reading experience

Unfortunately, things have been a little hectic here what with us all being unwell at some point or another, the decorating of more than one room and my Mac becoming buried someplace within in the mess of it all, we therefore didn’t get to film this one! However, leading up to Christmas last year, we did review Abigail’s super cute racoon friend Watson via video in which your more than welcome to have a peek if desired.

An unwell Alice-Sara was pleased to have her story buddy to cuddle last week

Abigail truly is an adorable bunny with a lot to say. My daughter Alice-Sara 9, fell in love with her instantly, she’s also proved something of a big hit within the family as the toddler can hardly contain himself and therefore keep his hands to himself.

Dressed in her pretty pink dancers custom, she’s not only innovative but pretty stylish too.

Lot’s of fun can be had with Abigail and any of her friends, plus you’ll never become bored, not when Hallmark have created a range of additional story books especially designed for each character and priced at 5.99 each.

If that’s not exciting enough, those with iPads and iPhones can download the fabulous free app from the app store to accompany the adorable bunny. The app includes a short animated story that can be played aloud through the app’s internal narrator or even recorded by a loved one to add a special personal touch to the story telling experience. Also included on the app, are a selection of child-friendly puzzles and interactive games that allow your child to dress up Abigail, just like in the story book.

Its official, we are a Story Buddy loving household, what with our latest addition ‘Abigail’ the Bunny who is now housed alongside Watson the Racoon and Cooper the bear, don’t be too surprised if you find some more lovely story buddies moving in during the year as there are new releases planned for later in 2012.Harley the toddler with another of the buddies ‘Cooper the Bear’

These really are genius, a hit with all three of my children, with each owning a buddy of their own and enjoying reading alongside them regularly.

These are also great for the child on the autism spectrum and those with special educational needs. It was Little man who put Watson to the test during our video review last year and I found it helped to install confidence when reading aloud.

Cute, innovative, interactive, fun, educational and doesn’t rot your little ones teeth, what more could you ask for in an alternative Easter gift?

Abigail the Bunny can be brought in branches of Hallmark as-well as online and falls into the same price racket as her fellow buddies at just £19.99

Check out the Hallmark website & Facebook Page for more information or simply click below to watch the promotional advertisement from Hallmark!

The Newly Released Phillipa Kinckerbocker Glory

26 Mar

Reading is an important life skill that should be achieved as early as possible in a child’s life. All my children love books, and my toddler is no exception to this!

Harley has many picture books and he loves nothing more than a bedtime story.

When choosing a book for Harley, I look for big bold bright illustrations, ones that will capture his little imagination in an instant, and it’s my opinion that this is what I found in the children’s picture book “Phillipa Knickerbocker Glory”

Phillipa Knickerbocker Glory is a delightful picture book by children’s author Sarahjane Funnell. Although it is primarily aimed towards children aged 3-6 years, Harley age 2 is already a big fan!

It’s not surprising really, considering this is a story about ice-cream, one of his favourite things at present.

At first glance this may seem a very girlie read, what with its use of pretty pinks and princesses throughout, however, not one to stereotype I read to Harley with an open mind.

Both the exciting storyline and wonderful illustrations had Harley smiling from start to finish.

The book is the perfect length for a toddler and I found it held Harley’s attention better than most stories we’ve read in the past. Its simple but magical and that’s what makes it great! I’d highly recommend the book Phillipa Knickerbocker Glory to parents of both young girls and boys, as a great addition to the bedtime story cabinet.

Check out the short book description below

Short description: Phillipa loves ice cream. She loves ice cream, almost as much as she loves her pet cat Little Miss Whiskers. Little Miss Whiskers is her fluffy white cat with a purple collar and bell. She doesn’t like Ice cream at all but loves nothing more than to curl up into a ball and fall fast asleep on the end of Phillipa’s bed.

One day Phillipa Knickerbocker Glory and Little Miss Whiskers embark on a deliciously exciting journey. Through a secret tunnel, they enter a magical dreamland where they find the Ice cream castle and discover every flavour of ice cream imaginable. The Ice cream castle seems like a dream come true but will it be just how Phillipa imagined? With all that ice cream, will she and Little Miss Whiskers ever want to go home?

Read this fabulous story to find out just what happens next in this deliciously delightful adventure…

This is a truly magical adventure for all little girls and boys who love to eat ice cream.  :)

You can get hold of a copy of Phillipa Knickerbocker Glory from www.phillipaknickerbockerglory.co.uk, Waterstone’s, WH Smith and other selected book stores from today… Yes, this delightful children’s picture book has been officially released as of today (26/03/2012)

Visit the books website at www.phillipaknickerbockerglory.co.uk

Published By: Gibson Publishing
Price: £7.99
Release Date: Monday 26th March 2012

Harley & Peppa Go To Playschool

28 Feb

Oh, we received a rather special gift for the toddler last week. The postman knocked at our door with a very special delivery, in a big white cardboard envelope and addressed to Harley himself.

How excited he was to open the envelope and discover a very special Peppa Pig book! Yes, this wasn’t just any Peppa Pig book, but a personalised Peppa Pig book, titled, “Peppa Pig and Me – Harley and Peppa go to playgroup”

This is a truly special book for a truly special boy

The beautifully presented paperback story book is filled with brilliant personalised touches making it really exciting for little Harley.

This includes cartoon styled illustrations of Harley with Peppa pig, which have been cleverly generated from the details I gave when ordering the book. His name also appears throughout the story.

Harley displayed an almighty smile upon his face as I read him the story of how he spent his first day at playgroup amongst Peppa pig and all her amazing friends. He never lost interest once, keeping his attention throughout the time I was reading.

He was so adorable as he kept nodding his head and saying “Peppa pig hold Harley hand”

I was dead impressed with this book, a Ladybird publication that is beautifully illustrated and worded from start to finish.

It’s easy to order your personalised story which is available from the awesome site Buyagift.com, all you have to do is give a few details that help describe your child’s characteristics, and if desired a small personalised message, which in my opinion makes a lovely touch.

I’d highly recommend this book, and it could prove the perfect alternative to a chocolate egg this Easter.

The book is priced at £14.99, to find out more visit Buyagift.com who sell a huge range of truly unique gift ideas, from personalised books to gift experiences including pampering days which i actually wouldn’t mine this mothers day (though I’m sure the pocket-money of three little ones wouldn’t cover it)! A mum can dream, can’t she:)

Somebody call Watson!

24 Oct

Story Buddy

 It’s a sure sign that Christmas is fast approaching as the Santa’s Little helpers get busy! Yes, it’s all fun and games in ours as we meet Watson the fabulous Racoon. 

 Watson was here on official business, his mission, to make story time magical!

 This awesome little Racoon, who goes by the name of Watson is part of Hallmark’s brand new & exciting, ‘Story Buddy’ range of interactive cuddly toys. 

 Each buddy is beautiful made, each containing a very magical, yet clever innovative technology, that wont fail to impress the kids.

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 This is the first toy on our Santa’s Little helpers list, that I feel cannot be done justice with words alone. With this in mind I decided it was time to get vlogging (for those of you who haven’t got the first clue what I’m going on about, “Vlogging” is a team used for video blogging)

 So… Here it is!

How, cute is that!  Watson is not only adorable, but as you can see his an extremely clever Racoon.

 The Magic inside Watson is actually innovative playback technology which prompts Watson to speak & join in once the trigger passages are read out (trigger passages are highlighted green within the story book provide).

Story buddy’s are due to hit Hallmark stores this month (October 2011) There’s currently three story buddies to choose from (more to come in the New Year)! These are, our lovely friend, ‘Watson’ (the inquisitive racoon,) ‘Copper’ (the playful bear) & the Limited edition ‘Jingle’ (the Husky especially for Christmas) Each Buddy comes complete with its own awesome story book, plus

for those who wish to expand there reading skills further additional books can be bought for Watson & Copper.

 Hallmark have also developed they’re own  App for ipad, ipods and iphone. 

This app tells the story behind each buddy, plus more. 

Download the app free from itunes.

 Our Verdict 

 Seriously what is there not to like here. Watson is magical and all the children love him, including my 11-year-old who is on the autism spectrum

Kids rating 4 star****

 As a parent, I love the story buddy range, not only are we looking at an educational toy that will encourage children to read, but this special buddy’s help families bond and enjoy time together create childhood memories. 

 The stories are great helping the development of imagination and creative thinking.

Big thumbs up.

At £19.99 this is an adorable toy with innovative technology that I’m used to seeing in the higher end of the market, displaying a scary fat price tag. 

4**** stars from mum

Click HERE to get yours

Additional books priced at £5.99 at most Hallmark stores.

Who Loves me?

23 Oct

Who Loves me?

 No, not me… I know you all adore me :)

 Who loves me…  Is the name given to these awesome personalised flash cards designed for children of all ages.

 I had to jump at the chance of reviewing a set of these for Harley (22 months old). 

 The idea is simple yet extremely clever & effective. Each flash card consists of both words and pictures, however what’s different is the pictures are in-fact images of the child’s family, friends or loved ones. Each have the name of the person under the image in big bold lettering, then there is text on the back of the card, personalised to relate to the person in the picture.

 When I saw these on another blog I was taken by the idea and just thought how great these would be for pre-schoolers especially those who are on the autism spectrum. Now Harley doesn’t have a diagnosis of autism, however his older brother Little man now age 11 does and I would have loved to have a set of these back when he was two, five even. 

 If I had these back when Little man was younger I would have used them when he started at school to include the images of teachers & class room assistants (of course with their agreement) this would have allowed little man a way to get used to the teachers in the school (class teacher, head teacher, classroom assistant and so forth) the beauty is you can order one card  or a 100 cards really its up to you.

Got the pennies you could even get the class done :)

 The text on the back would have allowed the little man to remember their roles within the school, therefore he would have gained a better understanding of whom to go to for help when needed, avoiding a mass of difficult issues.

 The possibilities are endless… Go mad, make cards of the doctor, dentist, even shop assistant (Yes, yes with permission of course) Even snap pictures of building, places (school, doctors & dentist surgery, school bus etc….) This would allow your child to become familiar with places that normally cause heighten anxiety. These would also be perfect for the non verbal child, encouraging speech or just providing reassurance or a better understanding. It’s a fact that children on the spectrum are visual learners so these cards are perfect!

 As for Harley… He loves the cards and has had hours of fun playing with them. 

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He names all the people in his cards, lines them up, runs around the house telling everyone to “Look” and even packs them away nicely. 

 One of the cards is has the image of his Granddad, who he doesn’t see often. It was magical when he visited and he was able to recognise him from the cards. He went over to his toy box took out his cards opened the box, taking the card of his granddad out and said loudly, “Look Granddad” as he placed it in his hand. 

 How awesome is that!

 So how’s this done?

 It’s so simple, if simple was made illegal, I’d be in the slammer! 

My mum could do this and she’s a load of poo when it comes to computers (sorry mum)!

 Firstly decide on the number of cards you want. Each card can be brought individually at a price of £1.99, however the more you buy the cheaper this is! Discounts are applied on the count of 8 and 16 cards (Yes, I’m unsure how it works if you want hundreds of these babies, but really hundreds seriously, would anyone want this many)? 

  Next, make sure you have decided who is going on each card? Make sure you have all your images ready and waiting on your computer & some idea of the text you want written on the back of each.

Note: If you sign up to the site, you can actually save half-way through returning later to finish.

 You then follow the easy to follow instructions for each card (don’t panic at the price, reductions are applied at the checkout).

 Simply add your image taking the pic from your hard drive (the higher the resolution the better) add the name that will be located below the image once in place, then choose your image from the picture library from the choices given (these are little clip arts that go on the back, just above the description). Now type your description, keeping it short and sweet (you are only allowed a maximum amount of characters).

 Once you have finished, you then click the next key adding another card. Just click finished when your through, you will then be re-directed to the checkout where deductions are applied and payment made.

 You will receive an email confirming your order and allowing any corrections of any mistakes and typos before finally being dispatched (despatch email will be sent once they are on the way). 

 Ours took a few days, it’s a super fast services.

 Costumer service is excellent! One of my images was a tad blurry so I was sent an email to notify me and offer me the chance to change the image which I did via email (so this was taken care of for me) How awesome a service is that!

 I highly rate these cards and recommend them to anybody looking for flash cards with a difference especially for parents of children on the spectrum regardless of their age. 

 These cards are off the highest quality yet really affordable. They make a fabulous personalised christmas present that’s guaranteed to break a smile or two!

*****stars  awarded

£1.99 per card

Special price of £11.99 for 8 & £17.99 for 16 flash cards

Gift vouchers available 

 Want Some? How could you not! 

Just click here to get yours!

London cant cope with snow.

3 Feb

My it is almost funny when you think about it! London has 6 inchs of snow fall and it’s as if something really bad has happened. London just can’t cope with the snow. I was watching the news and it’s been given a whole ten min slot. The schools were again closed for the day today and our rubbish was not collected due to the dust men not working today. Buses in London did however resume service but not all were a full service. Funny how a bit of snow can turn London upside down.
Well I have heard the school that my children attend should be reopening tomorrow. We have been advised to phone before hand to check for sure.
We only live two streets away so the roads are not really a problem for us.

Alice has had three days of last week due to a bug. And little man had a few days of the week before due to the same thing. I am in need of some real mummy time. I must say I have no shame in saying I’m somewhat exhausted. The few hours there at school is my little haven of time:)
Maybe I will be able to do some catching up on a book I have been longing to read without any disturbances or just watch a little rubbish but great daytime telly. As much as I love them two little people you always need some me time! nobody can judge you for that.

Im hoping that we don’t experience any problems with getting little man up and out the door for school in the morning.
Having had the weekend of and then those extra few days due to the school being closed he may be a touch to comfortable with the not having to go to school thing. His still on his melatonin so I’m hoping he will be just fine.

I have posted a pic of a snowman that some of the other children in the area have made. G and Alice have not been out in the snow due to both being unwell:( So they unjoyed watching the children create this master piece. Now the are enjoying watching him melt away.

A book from god

14 Dec

I have a few Aspergers books.
But Aspergers-syndrome by Tony Attwood is one of the best. Tony Attwood a clinical psychologist had written this book as a guide aimed at parents and professionals. The book has discussions, frequently asked questions, advice and suggestions on everything Aspergers. I really rate this book. It’s a must have for parents with children with Aspergers.

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